Ron Garan : Manna Energy

Manna Energy Limited

Manna Energy Limited: A social enterprise founded to provide clean water, clean energy, and sanitation to the poor made possible through the unique combination of sustainable development with the twelve billion a year carbon credit market

In areas of the world where sanitation and water infrastructure is limited, the result is that drinking water sources become contaminated. Local residents fall victim to diarrheal diseases, intestinal parasites, and other water-related illnesses that are among the leading causes of death among the poor and inhibit their ability to thrive physically and economically.


The most common way for poor households to treat water is through boiling. In most cases, water is heated indoors by burning fuel wood. The resultant indoor air pollution can cause respiratory disorders, debilitating illnesses, and further weaken the immune systems of at-risk individuals, including those infected with HIV/AIDS and other diseases. In many tropical and subtropical developing countries, fuel wood collection can also be strongly associated with deforestation, which is responsible for some 25 percent of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Wood fuel is often the single most expensive commodity for a rural family.


Manna Energy Limited has launched the Rwanda Natural Energy Project to design, install, and operate solar-powered water purification systems, biogas generators, and high efficiency cookstoves in Rwanda. The Manna-designed water systems utilize sand filters and ultraviolet light to purify contaminated water. The biogas reactors are latrines that convert human, animal, and agricultural waste into methane, which is fed to high-efficiency cookstoves. 

The plan is to fund the installation and long-term operating costs of these projects through the sale of United Nations Certified Emission Reductions (CERs or carbon credits), earned because the water filters and cookstoves reduce the need to burn fuel wood for water disinfection and energy needs. Once the emission reductions are certified, the carbon credits will be issued by the United Nations for a period of ten years from the date of installation. With this model, Manna Energy Ltd. is poised to be the first organization to earn carbon credits through the purification of water.

“By providing safe drinking water, biogas generators, and methane-powered stoves, we’re simultaneously improving water quality and sanitation, reducing water-related illness, providing agricultural fertilizer, decreasing deforestation, and curbing respiratory disorders caused by indoor air pollution. In essence, we’re able to solve multiple health, environmental, and economic problems with one innovative project using our in-house designed systems. But it all starts with safe water.” —Ron Garan, Director, Manna Energy Ltd.
Manna has three sites operating in Rwandan schools and at an orphanage, and a working prototype at the Manna Energy Facility in Kigali. These operations provide clean water to over 4,000 children. Given the initial success in trials, funding commitments have been secured for Phase I of the project, which is underway and will provide clean water to 13,000 people at a cost of about $1.5 million. The systems are expected to generate about $8 million in carbon credit revenues. All carbon credits have been pre-sold at a fixed price under an agreement with the Swedish Energy Agency. At present, Manna is awaiting approval from the UN to officially register the CERs expected to be earned from these projects.


Manna Energy Ltd. has a goal of eradicating poverty and fostering health, education, and gender equality through the implementation of economically sustainable and environmentally sound technologies for clean water, sanitation, and energy.

“It is important that sustainable development initiatives are sustainable businesses. Indeed, for Manna, our future growth and generation of revenue provide the ability to proliferate our systems and provide clean water to more communities, which enables them and our company to thrive. It’s important to note that we don’t earn revenue from the installation of these systems but through their successful operation. This framework provides a large incentive to maintain systems in top working order over the long run. Our objectives are to scale this model so our organization can serve as many people as possible and also help other organizations do the same.” —Ron Garan, Director, Manna Energy Ltd.
Bridge funding is being sought to maintain project momentum and overcome delays in UN CER registration. Manna Energy Ltd. is also seeking financial commitments for Phase II of the Rwanda Natural Energy Project, which will involve deploying over 400 solar-powered water purification systems over four years to provide clean water and improved sanitation to more than 330,000 people, and 300 biogas generators over six years to provide stove fuel, fertilizer, and improved sanitation for 150,000 people. These systems are expected to require $15 million in initial investment and to generate over $102 million in carbon credit revenues over 10 years. This revenue will fund the maintenance of the systems, as well as expand the model to other locations around the world while assisting other humanitarian organizations to participate in the carbon market.